Top 5 ways your dealership can make a strong start post lockdown

INSIGHT | 10 JUN, 2020

It’s true, we’ve waited with bated breath to see when the government would lift lockdown. But with showrooms recently being allowed to reopen, now is the time to think smart about how to make your dealership profitable again.

But there is an immediate problem to tackle; the high volume of defleeted vehicles stuck in the system. Some were scheduled to leave showrooms and plants before lockdown, others had only just arrived with March being the biggest month of the year for the new car market.

Here’s the juicy bit.

All these cars are currently in limbo, and with OEMs needing longer lead times to get new cars to market, it gives you, the used car dealer, the perfect opportunity to shine.

As the Government urges people to get back to work, without the use of trains, buses and tubes, it means people may be looking for a cheaper way to own their own vehicle.

Recent research from eBay Motors Group and Auto Trader shows that people are looking to buy a used car, with 75% thinking about doing so within three months of lockdown. Auto Trader also noticed some high demand for used cars under £10K. Just a happy coincidence? No way.

It’s time to strike while the iron is hot and get your dealership trading again.

But how? In a recent survey we conducted with independent and franchised dealers across the UK, over 50% said they’re uncomfortable with the idea of returning to a physical auction post-lockdown. And not surprisingly, as social restrictions could remain in place for a while yet. Social distancing isn’t easy in auction halls.

So, if we told you there was a way to fully avoid congregating in busy auction halls when you can do business online from your dealership, you’d jump at the chance – right? The dealers we asked agreed – 78% said they’d now be looking to source stock away from physical auctions through digital alternatives.

It’s clear digital remarketing could provide the turning point for buyers, and the moment of truth for sellers.

So, here’s our top 5 ways your dealership can make a strong start with digital marketing post lockdown:

  1. People have been stuck at home for months, some with money to spend, that have since become experts at finding the things they need online.  They can buy stuff they never realised was possible, and completely trust the process. And their searches now include used cars too. It’s the perfect combo.
  2. Selling online gives you the fastest, smartest and easiest route to market. It will help you trade out any old stock quickly, reduce further exposure to depreciation, and keep up with the new levels of supply and demand after lockdown. You can also sell unwanted part-exchanges online.
  3. Once your stock levels are balanced out, you can source new vehicles in minutes. There’s plenty of choice, with access to new stock the moment it’s posted, not weeks later.
  4. When transacting online, there’s no worrying about the hygiene of multiple touchpoints throughout your buying journey and no social distancing to consider – which is a huge bonus in helping you to trade safely.
  5. If you don’t want to rush into sourcing new vehicles right now, you can take your time browsing online, seeing them from every angle. You can read up on each one and download condition reports to be sure you’re replenishing with the stock that suits you.

If you’re investigating online remarketing for the first time, it’s easy to appreciate the practicalities and cost savings. Lockdown was also a great excuse to re-evaluate the way you dispose of and acquire stock. Suddenly digital marketing makes more sense than it’s ever done before. The market will bounce back, thanks to a little help from our good friend digital.

And we can’t wait to help you discover it.

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